From the Booker-shortlisted author of Narcopolis, in prose of extraordinary power, a novel about the women whose roles were suppressed, reduced or erased in the Gospels.
'Dazzling, smouldering . . . It is literally a tale that's waited a thousand years to be told.' MARLON JAMES, WINNER OF THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
Names of the Women begins with Christ on the cross addressing Mary of Magdala, asking her to bear witness to his death. As the novel unfolds, it tells the stories of fifteen women whose lives overlapped with the life of Christ. Lydia and Assia, Martha and Mary of Bethany, Junia the Widow of Jerusalem, Susanna the Barren, Ariamma the Canaanite, and others whose names have been spoken only in passing or not at all. Women who stayed with Christ through the crucifixion, when his disciples had abandoned him, and who spread his radical message - one that made them equals and a profound threat to power within the church.
Together, the voices of the women dare us to reimagine the story of the New Testament in a way it has never before been told.
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Names of The Women unerases the erased, gives voice to the silenced, restores the lost, and brings dazzling, smouldering life to stories long left for dead. It is literally a tale that's waited a thousand years to be told.
Names of the Women is an extraordinary work of restoration, playful invention, and stark beauty. In Jeet Thayil's skilled telling the gospel stories, which have lasted so long, spread so far, and become so dulled by familiarity, have their deep original strangeness returned to them.
Original and thought-provoking . . . This is a bold and beguiling addition to the canon of New Testament fiction.
Theologically well-informed, imaginative and affecting . . . This is a fascinating and beautiful book. You most certainly do not have to be either a Christian or a feminist to appreciate it, and, in fact, if you are neither it might make you think twice about both.
An electrifying new treatment of the old story; haunting, mysterious, intelligent.